To mark Fraud Prevention Month in March, FCNB is inviting New Brunswickers to become familiar with the red flags of fraud and is sharing tools and resources to help New Brunswickers stay out of fraud’s reach.
Fraud Prevention Month is an annual awareness initiative to help empower Canadians by providing information they need to recognize, reject and report fraud. On March 2, FCNB will be participating alongside numerous partners across the country in a Canada-wide social media Fraud Prevention Month launch event, held by the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC). In addition, the CAFC will be hosting a #FraudChat on their Twitter page at 1:00 PM every Wednesday in March, to discuss weekly topics related to fraud.
According to the CAFC, New Brunswickers reported losing more than $3.7 million to frauds and scams in the past three years. FCNB reminds New Brunswickers that even though frauds and scams can present in different ways, the red flags of fraud remain consistent. These include:
- An offer sounding too good to be true
- An investment that guarantees a specific return or claims to be “risk free”
- A threat that if you don’t act immediately you will be arrested or prosecuted
- A request for you to confirm personal or financial information when they have contacted you
- A request that you to pay for something in the form of gift cards or cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin
- A professional operating without a license or registration when it is required for them to do business. An individual in the business of insurance, investments, mortgages, direct sales, credit lending, payday loans or real estate in New Brunswick must be licenced or registered with FCNB.
More red flags of fraud and details on common scams targeting New Brunswickers are available at FCNB.ca.
In addition, as part of fraud prevention month FCNB will be sharing information about the risks involved in private mortgages. Follow FCNB on social media for access to videos and resources about private mortgages as well as valuable information on how to protect yourself from fraud.
“With recent changes in mortgage stress test rules, it’s becoming more difficult for some to get mortgages from traditional lenders,” said Alaina Nicholson, Director of Consumer Affairs at FCNB. “Private lending has become increasingly popular for people seeking loans to buy or renovate a home.”
For those unable to secure a traditional mortgage from a bank or credit union, private mortgages may seem like an attractive alternative, however, a number of risks should be considered, including being targeted or implicated in mortgage fraud.
“Asking questions and thinking seriously before making financial or purchasing decisions is another way to protect yourself from fraud or from making a decision that isn’t in your best interest,” says Marissa Sollows, Director of Education and Communications at FCNB. To verify licensing or registration in New Brunswick visit FCNB’s website.
The Financial and Consumer Services Commission has the mandate to protect consumers and enhance public confidence in the financial and consumer marketplace through the provision of regulatory and educational services. It is responsible for the administration and enforcement of provincial legislation regulating mortgage brokers, payday lenders, real estate, securities, insurance, pensions, credit unions, trust and loan companies, co-operatives, and a wide range of other consumer legislation. It is an independent Crown corporation funded by the regulatory fees and assessments paid by the regulated sectors. Educational tools and resources are available online.